Pitt will need to ease a new starting safety duo in the lineup next season, but whoever steps onto the field, they’ll be flanked by an experienced duo at cornerback.
Marquis Williams announced via Twitter Saturday that he will utilize his COVID season and return to Pitt in 2023. The duo of Williams and M.J. Devonshire will return for one more season together.
— Marquis Williams (@wiliamsisland14) January 7, 2023
Williams had the opportunity to test the NFL Draft waters this season, but he’s been a vocal leader in running it back next season in pursuit of another ACC championship. He will now have that opportunity.
Williams missed a bit of time in 2022 to injury, but he still recorded 476 defensive snaps and rated as Pitt’s highest-ranked cornerback in coverage.
He racked up 24 tackles (20 solo), a tackle for loss, two interceptions returned for touchdowns, a pass breakup and a forced fumble. According to PFF, Williams allowed just 17 receptions on 29 targets in 2022 — allowing just one touchdown in coverage.
In his Pitt career, he’s recorded 83 tackles (70 solo), three tackles for loss, five interceptions, two defensive touchdowns, eight pass breakups and a forced fumble.
With Williams and M.J. Devonshire both returning in 2023, and possibly A.J. Woods, Pitt’s cornerbacks will be very experienced. And with Rashad Battle returning from injury and Ryland Gandy progressing in his development, it’s a room with excellent potential.
Pitt’s secondary, under Archie Collins and Cory Sanders, will have veteran cornerbacks to lead next season.